Desert kit fox (Vulpes velox)
This beautiful little animal is about the size of a well-grown house cat (about 20-30 inches long including a 9-12 inch tail). The kit fox has very large ears and a thick, sandy-yellow coat that enables it to blend effortlessly into the desert environment. Its bushy tail has a black tip, and its short, stout legs are good for putting on a burst of speed. It can make a quick dodge to safety, but the desert kit fox is not a high-speed endurance runner like the jack rabbit.

Desert kit fox

Desert foxes feed on kangaroo rats, mice, lizards, and large insects. They hunt by digging rodents out of their underground burrows or by stalking them like a cat. Like coyotes, they probably eat sweet, fleshy fruits or berries when they are available.

In general kit foxes are smaller and lighter in color than their cousins the red and gray foxes. This makes them more suitable for desert and prairie life.

3 desert kit fox kittens

The kit fox young are called kittens and four or five of them are born in a den early in spring. They remain there with their parents until April or May. When they are not raising young, desert kit foxes are generally solitary, living and hunting alone.

Recommended reading:

Jaeger, Edmund C. Desert Wildlife. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961. Reprint is available in paperback (ISBN: 0-8047-0124-5)

Martin, Alexander M. et al. American Wildlife and Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1951.

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Desert Dogs: Coyotes, Foxes and Wolves